In every science fiction movie, horror movie, fantasy movie-- in most every movie involving magick, there's a scene in between when the character drinks the potion and when they realize the ultimate consequences of the magick. And in that moment the character invariably says something like "I think it's working" or, in a comedy, "I don't think it's working" right before it does. I feel just like that this morning. I definitely feel like something's happening. I can't tell if it's a comedy or not, because nothing is happening.
I want to be close to you so I listen to the same records you do. That used to be this really easy thing we could organize around. I should stop being so nostalgic and sad for it-- people still do organize around it, but just not me. I keep losing followers on Twitter and it keeps feeling bad. I know that the only people I'm losing are either a) marketing robots or b) boys who don't know me and don't want to (and who I guess I don't want to know either) but it's hard not to feel like I'm losing my hair or something. And then again who uses Twitter? Who needs followers?
This is what I think the moment is: when you have to reckon with the potential consequences of whatever magick you're working with. Oh, you think, oh, yeah. Right. Who cares about losing followers though. If that is how you measure yourself, by your audience, then it does, I gotta say, put you in a precarious position. I don't want to to valorize selfishness, I don't want to make it seem as if the one true action is making yourself up, by yourself. But I feel remiss in not reminding anyone who will listen: it's not important how many people listen to you. It's not as important as you think.
We measure ourselves by the amount of attention we get. But that quantification, that's magickal thinking. That is onanism. That's fantasy. And the attention itself is also fantasy. So why not pick a more social fantasy, once which does not rest entirely on delusional self-perception. Why not divorce ourselves from the project of constant invention? Of the genius working alone in her laboratory, struggling, doling out tidbits of wisdom to her adoring fans, followers, friends. It's not real. So what if you stop inventing yourself. So what if you are the tree falling in the forest that no one hears. That might not be so bad. Is this a cop-out? Is this me being a quitter? Is it okay to be a quitter? Isn't okay to cop-out? We've established, I've discovered and rediscovered that it is in fact okay. It seems to me to be a more morally sound way to move through the world, quitting, admitting defeat constantly. This seems, to me, to be a more honest and truthful and social way of being. So much less harmful than the alternative.
So much less destructive and delusional that the opposite, which I see everywhere. Like a soft diagnosis. Like the word: "precancerous". What I notice as the opposite, toxic attitude is: I will tell you who I am. I will let you into the endless fascination of my life. The sheer unknowability of myself. I am unpredictable. My friends would describe me. My enemies describe me, too, but I take what they say as the opposite of the truth. Everything reifies me. All roads lead to the City and I am the Mayor. I am the director, producer, star of my own life. I am the audience member, watching the film of my own life. I am doing the DVD commentary of my own life. Don't you see. I'm making a cartoon of you because I hate you for refusing to be anything other than cute. If you stopped trying to be cute for 15 minutes, would the world end? Try it and see.
Two final points:
a) I want to go have sex with this kid who lives near me and has been messaging me on line. He's into some form of fantasy dress-up play and he is also into some form of recreational drug use. I feel like I am working to try to impress this person. Impress him just barely enough to want to have sex with me. I think he used to want to have sex with me (he was telling me so online) but I may have blown it. That kind of uncanny moment where I feel, as if I am in a dream, that I am worried about or working towards something which I might not care about. One person's disinclination to have sex with me is, on one hand, further evidence in the case to prove my ultimate unfuckability (unloveability), and, on the other hand, a release in and of itself. Proof that it doesn't prove anything. Running up that hill, indeed.
b) Sometimes I pace my room and I feel like I'm assaulted by the space my belongings take up. Old books, clothes, records, bits of trash. I feel like I live in some kind of post-apocalyptic dump. As if by holding onto all my shit, I can remember. The truth is that my memory is softening, and not by mistake. I used to be able to remember every details of every conversation, it was a big point of pride for me. But then at 18 I started deliberately blocking things out, and now my memory is like a game. I can choose what to keep. In my head, I can choose. In my room, I keep basically everything. I am gripped with panic at the thought of getting rid of, say, the stack of 70s romance novels I read in college. Or even newer things. Clothes I saved up for but ended up never wearing. Those shoes I bought for job interviews for jobs I never got.
It's changed so much, my room, over the last handful of years. The last time you were here, the bed was against the other wall, and I had so many fewer books. I wonder, if I could bring you back to my bedroom, if you would recognize it. What you might think of it. Would it seem like the Max you knew back then, but just older, sicker, with better taste? Or would it seem like a stranger, someone unrecognizable? I do feel like I've changed since the last time I saw you. I feel like I am hiding. I am in the witness protection program. I wear kevlar vests. I use a false name (my real name, just evacuated of all significance). I am protecting myself from the forces that want to harm me. Those forces are me. I'm protecting myself from me. I am in a witness protection program. I saw myself, and I know that myself wants revenge. And so now I spend my days quietly. I dye my hair. I make myself unobtrusive. I wait. I live in fear of the revenge that mySelf will eventually seek, must in fact ultimately extract from me. For spying. For knowing. For having seen. For having seen, and done nothing about. For not having done enough.